Comparison of Gemcitabine Combined with Targeted Agent Therapy Versus Gemcitabine Monotherapy in the Management of Advanced Pancreatic Cancer

“This systematic evaluation compared the efficacy and safety profiles of gemcitabine combined with targeted agents (GEM + TA) versus gemcitabine administered as monotherapy or combined with placebo (GEM ± PLC) in locally advanced/metastatic pancreatic cancer (LA/MPC) patients. Based on the results from this analysis, the addition of targeted agents to a regimen of gemcitabine treatment does not bring survival benefits except 1–year survival rate to patients with LA/MPC.”

The gist: Researchers analyzed data from ten different clinical trials that tested whether the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine worked better for pancreatic cancer patients when combined with targeted therapy drugs. (Targeted therapies are drugs developed to fight tumors that have specific genetic mutations, as detected by molecular testing.) Not many benefits were found for the combination treatments, except that patients who took gemcitabine combined with targeted therapy were more likely be alive one year later than patients who only took gemcitabine.

Intermittent Hormone Therapy May Be Better Than Continuous Hormone Therapy for Treating Prostate Cancer

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology did not find a significant difference in overall survival between prostate cancer patients who received continuous versus intermittent androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). The study compiled data from nine clinical trials including more than 5,500 patients. Intermittent ADT was associated with fewer side effects, particularly for sexual function, and greater overall well-being. The authors hope this study will help support intermittent ADT for select prostate cancer patients.


Study Finds Supplements Do Not Improve Outcomes for Prostate Cancer Patients

To better understand the impact supplements have on the severity of prostate cancer, researchers looked at data from eight clinical trials and did not find significant benefits for prostate cancer patients who took supplements. The studies looked at minerals, vitamin D, antioxidants, isoflavones, and phytoestrogens. Scientists feel these findings are similar to those of past studies and that some supplements may actually cause harm.


Immunotherapy and endothelin receptor antagonists for treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer

“This study was performed to summarize results ofimmunotherapy and endothelin receptor antagonists in the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) and derive a more precise estimation of their effect on future treatment. The article suggested that the very acceptable toxicity and improving OS in patients with CRPC made immunotherapy an attractive option for such patient.”

Polytherapy Beats Monotherapy as Second-Line Treatment for NSCLC

Combining targeted therapy improves overall survival for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), compared to using the targeted drug erlotinib (Tarceva) alone, according to a recent study. By pooling data from eight clinical trials, researchers found that patient outcomes were improved when combination therapy was used as a second-line treatment for NSCLC.

Patients with advanced NSCLC who have already received initial therapy usually take erlotinib alone as a second-line treatment. Erlotinib directly targets the EGFR protein and can be particularly effective for patients with mutations in the EGFR gene. Continue reading…

Work-Related Stress Unlikely to Cause Prostate Cancer

Researchers at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and University College London have conducted a meta-analysis of 12 studies to determine if job strain is related to cancer risk. Their findings suggest there is no relationship between work-related stress and overall cancer risk.

In the UK, Rate of Prostate Cancer Diagnoses Increase as Deaths from the Disease Decrease

Cancer Research UK has released figures indicating that the number of prostate cancer cases diagnosed yearly have tripled over the last 20 years. In contrast, the number of deaths from the disease have decreased by 18%. Experts suggest the increase in diagnoses is due to widespread use of PSA (prostate-specific antigen) testing and the decrease in deaths is because of earlier diagnosis and improved treatments.